Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Who Will Replace Charlie Strong?

When you become one of the best college football programs in the nation, other programs are bound to start picking off your coaching staff. It started last season, when Mississippi State snatched up Gators offensive coordinator Dan Mullen as its new head coach. Today, Louisville swooped in and will be naming Florida's defensive coordinator, Charlie Strong, the Cardinals' new head coach.

After Mullen left last season, I made an attempt at trying to name a few candidates that Florida could have pursued to replace him. Missing from that list? Steve Addazio. Which either means I had no business trying to make a guess at the replacement, or that Florida had no business promoting Addazio to the offensive coordinator position.

Since Strong will be gone this afternoon, I figured that I'd give this replacement thing a shot again, so here, I give you who I think Florida should get to replace Charlie Strong.
  • Dan McCarney. He's the current defensive line coach for the Gators, and this was only his second season working with Urban Meyer. He is a fiery coach, and my friends who have watched team practices are huge fans of him and his approach to coaching. Before he came to Florida, he spent a year as the d-line coach at USF, and before that, was the head coach at Iowa State for 12 seasons, taking them to five bowl games. He's the most likely choice, should Meyer and athletic director Jeremy Foley decide to keep the job in-house.
  • Chuck Heater. Another logical choice if the job were to stay within the current coaching staff. Heater, who is the current coach of the safeties and assistant defensive coordinator, has been coaching for over three decades, and is one of Meyer's favorite assistants. If you want to see the rest of his lengthy resume, click here.
  • Dick Bumpas. This one is a stretch, and was actually brought up in conversation twice yesterday in discussing this very topic. For those of you who don't know, Bumpas is currently the defensive coordinator for the TCU Horned Frogs. He is responsible for the team having the No. 1 total defense in the nation this season, the sixth best scoring defense, third best rushing defense and fourth best pass defense. Here's the rest of his resume. As I said, Bumpas is a stretch, but why not strike while the iron is hot and bring him in to a big time school where if he has a dominant defense, he won't be relegated to a BCS game against another mid-major team?
Those are just a few names that have come to mind in the last 24 hours, but I'm sure there are some other possibly deserving and qualified candidates out there that I have failed to mention. If you have any ideas, or candidates that you feel deserve the opportunity, feel free to discuss it in the comments section.

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